Al Jazeera discredits AFP story and stands by its ex- MD

Al Jazeera, the Qatari satellite news channel that gained popularity throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has again been put in the spotlight, after AFP reported that the news station has fired its managing director, Mohammed Jasim Al Ali today (May 27).

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By  Massoud Derhally Published  May 27, 2003

Al Jazeera, the Qatari satellite news channel that gained popularity throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has again been put in the spotlight, after AFP reported that the news station has fired its managing director, Mohammad Jasim Al Ali today (May 27).

The sacking of Al Jazeera's top man, said AFP, is a result of allegations that Al-Ali worked with Saddam Hussein’s intelligence services, also known as the mukhabarat.

But the network’s official spokesperson, Jihad Ballout told Arabian Business, the allegations, which originally were aired by Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the American-backed Iraqi National Congress and a convicted felon in Jordan, and again cited by AFP, are unfounded and baseless.

“He [Al Ali] was seconded to set up and run Al Jazeera and his secondment is finished now,” said Ballout.

“There is no evidence whatsoever that Mohammad Jasim Al Ali was in anyway outside the realm of professional journalistic activity or involved with the Iraqi regime, on the contrary.”

AFP did not name its source and attributed its entire story to a Qatari source.

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